Argentine National Gendarmerie
Gendarmería Nacional Argentina
Emblem of the Force
Emblem of the Force
Gendarmeria flag
Gendarmeria flag
MottoCentinela de la Patria
(lit.'Fatherland's Sentinel')
Agency overview
VolunteersAll non commissioned personnel are volunteers.
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
Operations jurisdictionArgentina
Legal jurisdictionAs per operations jurisdiction
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersAve. Antártida Argentina and Gendarmería Nacional St., Buenos Aires
Elected officer responsible
Agency executives
  • Commandant General Andrés Severino, National Director of the Gendarmerie
  • Commandant General Javier Alberto Lapalma, Deputy National Director
Regional Headquarters

The Argentine National Gendarmerie (Spanish: Gendarmería Nacional Argentina, GNA) is the national gendarmerie force and corps of border guards of the Argentine Republic. As at 2011, It has a strength of 30,000[1]

The gendarmerie is primarily a frontier guard force but also fulfils other important roles.[2] The force functions from what are today five regional headquarters at Campo de Mayo, Córdoba, Rosario, San Miguel de Tucumán and Bahía Blanca.

Personnel and training

Non-commissioned personnel of the gendarmerie are all volunteers and receive their training in the force's own comprehensive system of training institutions. Officers graduate after a three-year course at the National Gendarmerie Academy. Both officers and non-commissioned personnel have access to the specialist training establishments of the Army.


Argentine Gendarmes in Oberá in Misiones

The gendarmerie was created in 1938 by the National Congress[2] and replaced the regiments of the Army which previously fulfilled the gendarmerie's missions. The gendarmerie was particularly tasked with providing security in isolated and sparsely populated frontier regions which had only been settled relatively recently. In many senses the gendarmerie may still be considered an adjunct of the Argentine Army.


The gendarmerie's mission and functions are concerned with both domestic security and national defense. According to Laws No. 23.554 and 24.059, the armed forces cannot intervene in internal civil conflicts, except in logistics’ and support roles, so the gendarmerie is subordinate to the Ministry of Security. It is defined as a civilian "security force of a military nature". It maintains a functional relationship with the minister of defense, as part of both the National Defense System and the Interior Security System.[2] It therefore maintains capabilities arising from the demands required by joint military planning with the armed forces.

The gendarmerie's main missions are:

The gendarmerie is also used for other security missions, which include:[1]

Under the United Nations, the Gendarmerie has served in Guatemala, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Angola, Lebanon, Rwanda, Liberia, Cyprus, South Sudan, Haiti and Colombia.


High command

The high command includes:

Rank structure

The ranks of the Argentine Gendarmerie, in ascending order, are: Sub-Officer Ranks

Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
Argentine National Gendarmerie
No insignia
Suboficial Mayor Suboficial Principal Sargento Ayudante Sargento Primero Sargento Cabo Primero Cabo Gendarme

The ranks up to and including sergeant are classified as Subaltern Sub-Officers (Suboficiales Subalternos), and the remainder are classified as Superior Sub-Officers (Suboficiales Superiores). The sub-officer ranks are the same as Argentine army ranks, and wear the same insignia, but with a much thicker gold band for a Gendarmerie Principal Sub-Officer than is used in the Army.

Officer Ranks

Rank group General / flag officers Senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
Argentine National Gendarmerie
Director Nacional Subdirector Nacional Comandante General Comandante Mayor Comandante Principal Comandante Segundo Comandante Primer Alférez Alférez Subalferez

The ranks up to and including Segundo Comandante are classified as Subaltern Officers (Oficiales Subalternos). Gendarmerie officers wear the same insignia as the equivalent Argentine Army rank. The National Director and his Deputy wear the insignia of an Argentine Lieutenant-General and Divisional General respectively, although they still have the rank of Commandant-General. (NB: Lieutenant-General is the highest Argentine Army rank.)

Unit structure

Operational units

Support units



Volkswagen Amarok of Gendarmería Nacional Argentina
Gendarmes with FN FAL rifle
Weapon Caliber Origin Notes
Beretta 92 9×19mm  Italy Service pistol
Glock 17 9×19mm  Austria Used by the Grupo Alacrán
Browning Hi-power 9x19mm  United States
Submachine Guns
FMK-3 9×19mm  Argentina Service SMG
Heckler & Koch MP5 9×19mm  Germany
FN P90 FN 5.7×28mm  Belgium Used by the Grupo Alacrán
Assault Rifles & Battle Rifles
FN FAL 7.62×51mm  Belgium/ Argentina Standard service rifle
Steyr AUG 5.56×45mm  Austria
Colt M4 5.56×45mm  United States Used by the Grupo Alacrán
Sniper Rifles & Machine guns
M24 SWS 7.62×51mm  United States Standard sniper rifle
Barrett M95 .50 BMG  United States Used by the Grupo Alacrán
FN MAG 7.62×51mm  Belgium/ Argentina
Ithaca 37 12 gauge  United States Standard service shotgun
Mossberg 500-A 12 gauge  United States Standard service shotgun
Valtro PM-5 12 gauge  Italy
Benelli M3 12 gauge  Italy
SPAS-15 12 gauge  Italy Used by the Grupo Alacrán


Model Type Origin Notes
Ford Focus Police car  United States/ Argentina
Renault Megane Police car  France/ Argentina
Ford Ranger Pickup truck  United States/ Argentina
Volkswagen Amarok Pickup truck  Germany/ Argentina
Agrale Marrua Pickup truck  Brazil [3]
Land Rover Defender Pickup truck  United Kingdom
Iveco Daily Van  Italy/ Argentina
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van  Germany/ Argentina
Mercedes-Benz Unimog Truck  Germany
Iveco VM 90 Truck  Italy
Bandvagn 206 All-terrain vehicle  Sweden
STREIT Group Spartan Armoured personnel carrier  Canada Used by the Grupo Alacrán


The service has a small inventory of aircraft, based at Campo de Mayo.[4]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2014)

See also


  1. ^ a b "Argentine-gb". Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  2. ^ a b c Marechaussee, Royal Netherlands. "Argentinian National Gendarmerie". FIEP | International Association of Gendarmeries and Police Forces with Military Statues. Retrieved 2024-04-07.
  3. ^ "La Gendarmería argentina incorpora 12 vehículos Agrale Marruá - Noticias Infodefensa América". 9 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Visita al Servicio de Aviación de la Gendarmería Nacional". Avialatina - Noticias (in Spanish). Avialatina. 18 December 2009. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Janes | Latest defence and security news". Archived from the original on 2017-04-10. Retrieved 2017-04-10.